Back home

For the holidays I took a trip down to LaHonda to see the folks. At this point, no matter how many years I live away, it always feels more like home then anywhere else I live. While I was down I also made a quick trip south down hwy 1 to visit the Santa Lucia Flyfishers in San Luis Obispo. I made them a presentation on our fishing in the Truckee area and tied some flies for the guys. They were very gracious hosts. The were excited and said I was one of their best presenters they’ve had and insisted I come again.  The drive down was spectacular. I knew it might be, so I gave myself a few extra hours so I could enjoy the drive.

Found a nice spot to stop and stretch the legs.

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Elephant seals were birthing their pups on some of the beaches. I remember the field trip we took to Ana Nuevo as a kid, watching these giant creatures wiggle across the sand like a 1000 pound inchworm. It was really something to a kid. Still is.

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I didn’t get a chance to take pics during my talk (I was so preoccupied, I forgot really)

I did take some more shots on the way back up the coast. I found a nice little restaurant with a patio on top of an overlook. The guy looked at me like I was a little dense when I ordered to go. I figured I’d find my own spot to eat. This one will work.

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When I got to the familiar sight of the Pigeon Point lighthouse, I knew I was almost home. (Sorry for the off kilter pic, no photoshopping)

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Looking back south the direction I came, from Pigeon Point.

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It was great getting back home. The next day I went through Sacramento for the International Sportsmens Expo to see some friends, shake some hands and check out a little bit of the new gear coming out. The day after that I went back to my other home in Truckee. Its always nice to go back home, whichever one it is…

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A couple days later after getting to Truckee I got to sneak in a little fishing with a photographer friend of mine, Stefan McLeod.  I had been on the road since mid to late December so it was my first chance to get back on the water this new year. We only fished for an hour or 2, but I got my first fish of the season,  a trio of dandies from the same run. Stefan took some killer shots.

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McCloud pt 3

Here’s the last photos from my trip this last fall. There’s a lot more pictures with this one, but I wanted to wrap it up. Hopefully its not messing people up too much with load times.

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We decided to head upstream and scout some new water. This stretch, in my eyes, was some of the prettiest water I’ve seen. Big green pools, covered in streamside foliage. I love the elephant ears.

Climbing up the road, looking back down the valley.

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We hiked down along the river to the top end of our beat.

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Encountered a ton of these guys sipping water from a pool. Probably 20-30 of them fluttering around.

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Did a little highsticking and hooked 2-3 little rainbows right here. There’s a nice deep seam under the elephant ears on the far bank.

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Walking up the river, I saw these dark little shadows fluttering away from my footsteps. Amphibians are something I see less and less of every year, its nice to see a place where they have such a strong foothold. Rough skinned newts.

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The 3 of us hiked slowly up the stream, I took my time and followed behind my 2 buddies(and still caught fish, much to my pleasure.) Tim eyed some water he liked and charged ahead rapidly. Miles and I took our time, talking as we fished. Miles was casting a little hopper on an old fiberglass rod and getting slashy strikes from the little bows.

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We eventually caught up to Tim and he had found a deep run with a very pronounced seam, protective coverage and even a small side channel feeding from the side. It was the perfect spot for nymphing up a bigger fish. Tim took the head of the run and I snuck in below. Miles felt content to watch us nymph. We both hooked our biggest fish of the trip. Tim landed 1 before I got close and lost another. I hooked 2 fish in the 18″+ range. They were right next to a submerged tree and  both swam straight into it on the hookset,  breaking clean off. C’est la vie. It was still fun.

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We eventually hiked back out amidst a banter of the days exploits, smiles on our faces.

The next day, after 4 or 5 days of fishing, we needed to top off a few supplies, so we went into Dunsmuir for a little break and sightseeing. We went to the Ted Fay fly shop. I love going to a classic, hole in the wall fly shop. Old, dusty little fishing shops bring back some really nice memories and there’s fewer and fewer of these types of places left. I bought some tying materials I already had and some flies I didn’t really need, just to fight the good fight and support a small shop.

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As some of you know I’ve been getting into rod building lately. In Dunsmuir there’s a cool little workshop where a guy makes cane rods. Figured we’d stop by and check it out, but he happened to be closed that day. Oh well, looks cool from the outside at least.

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For the first time in 4-5 days I get cell phone coverage and I call back to civilization. Ifind out I have a guide request for the next day. I know I’m probably not going to make it so I get someone to cover. We need to fish just a little more. These opportunities don’t happen often. We fish some more the next day, and catch some more little guys. The rest of the group heads out. Tim and I stay behind to clean up the place and get it ready for the next group. We take some more time to look at the old photos and admire the place. It’s such a pretty spot.

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There were some springs welling up out if the ground on the upper end of the property. I stopped and took a sip. It was very nice. As cold and clean as a man could ever want. Image

While we were cleaning out the other cabin, there were some pictures of the German immigrants that built it over a hundred years ago.

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We finished cleaning early and still had a few more hours to kill, what the hell, lets fish right next to the cabin…

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I string up my rod, but I barely even fish, I just watch and enjoy the moment.

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Timmy catches a couple pretty little bows. Finally we feel content and maybe like we are ready to leave.(but not really) Still, the next guests will be arriving shortly, and I don’t think they want to run into other people fishing their private stretch of stream.

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See you next time, maybe even on the river.

Dan